24- “Toy Story” #52PickUp

In honor of the release of Disney/Pixar’s newest film, Finding Dory, I’m looking back on Pixar’s first feature-length release:

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Toy Story. Man oh man, did I love this movie as I grew up, and Andy was the embodiment of my childhood as I aged alongside him. Sure, he was a few years younger than me when I had first seen this (at my ripe age of ten), but it was the ideal that truly gave me the parallel feeling; and one of which most people can still relate.

Yes, I know that this film isn’t about Andy, in fact his screen time in this film is probably counted in minutes on two hands; no, this story is about the toys.  The toys are some of the most dynamic, well-written characters I’ve seen in the past thirty years of movie watching. The two leads are solid, as each struggle with real-world issues like acceptance, admittance of one’s true self, and jealousy.

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“Go on…”

I don’t think anyone expected the first feature-length CGI-animated film to be rich with story and complex characters, as is the case with Toy Story. It’s interesting to note that it was so revolutionary in its graphical prowess that it won a Special Achievement Oscar for its groundbreaking visuals.

As a kid, I watched the Toy Story films often, but as an adult, I watched these films exponentially more. I had an ex-girlfriend who has a young son– he was two at the time. At that age, kids tend to fixate on a certain show or movie and watch said media incessantly. Luckily for me, this kid’s pick was the first two Toy Story films (the third wasn’t out by then).

Well, I must have watched both of them at least twenty times with him to keep him happy. My eyes began to wander off into the background of the films, imagining them creating this massive world, with many moving parts, all in a computer. Then I began to pick apart the script, analyzing why it made me feel what I felt as the film unfolded before my eyes.

The first two films in this franchise quickly became a master class in filmmaking for me. And this is why I went into Toy Story 3 with such tenacity. That’s why for quite a while, the third film was one of my favorites of all-time.

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Perfect bookends for the trilogy… Clouds to clouds.

Where/ when did I first see it?

I had first watched this at my Foster Mom’s place. She used to have a massive collection of big box Disney films. We’d watched all of the classics here.

How does it hold up?

Way better than I expected. I had revisited these films dozens of times, and saw the wear of the visuals in comparison to the recent Pixar flicks. But, Toy Story has such a powerful script and well-acted characters, that the simplicity of the CGI is a moot point.

Toy Story will always play perfectly, regardless of how the CGI evolves. It’s style is in its design, and its aesthetic has been established. It’s similar to a Mario game vs. an Uncharted game– both are in High Definition, but each have their own style.

What did I like about it and why?

The script, the cast– Did you know that they almost cast Jim Carrey as Buzz Lightyear?! That would have been terrible. In fact, the role was almost filled at one point by both Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. Imagine!

Also, everything. There really isn’t much more to say about this classic.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Whoo Pixar sure came out swinging!
  2. Woody is kind of a dick. OOOOHH! Nice one, Disney.
  3. Never bad mouth your toys, they’re listening.

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Where can you see it?

Check out Toy Story on CanIStream.It?

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


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One thought on “24- “Toy Story” #52PickUp

  1. Pingback: #52PickUp Retrospective | GuyOnAWire

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